The Mud Connector

Author Topic: TMC - Changes to the Vote System  (Read 4740 times)

Icculus

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« on: March 27, 2018, 3:21 PM »
On March 3rd one of the admins of Armageddon noticed odd voting activity involved with Armageddon and reported it to me and asked that I investigate. I did a rudimentary look at logs and at the time was unable to spot suspicious activity. Yes, the vote count looked odd but I was not able to spot the problem.

After receiving some more reports from concerned TMC members as well as from forum moderators I started looking more aggressively into different areas of the site and was able to spot suspicious activity which indeed pointed to bot voting activity.

As a result the following changes were made:
1. All IPs involved with the bot accounts have been site banned
2. The total vote count for Armageddon has been adjusted, all confirmed bot votes have been deducted.
3. More detailed logging has been added to the vote system to make it easier to spot potential issues down the road.
4. The vote system has been changed so that all accounts created after March 1, 2018 must have a minimum forum activity before being eligible to vote.

By requiring forum activity this will give us more of a chance to spot suspicious accounts. It is unlikely to be perfect but it is a step in the right direction.

I believe Armageddon mud was in no way involved and that in fact the attempt was to try to hurt their reputation on TMC, and I want to thank them for bringing this to our attention so quickly.

Thank you,
Icculus

sevenecks

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
    • Sindome: Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 3:50 PM »
Hi -

These seem like good and reasonable changes. Fair voting is excellent.

I help run Sindome, and we are always asking our players to vote. As new playes arrive who might not have TMC accounts when they start playing, it would be good to have more info on the new process so we can inform these folks.

1. Are you releasing the minimum forum activity number publicly so folks know?
2. Is there a specific place we should encourage them to post? Introductions perhaps or something like that?

The reason I ask this is that while using forum posts as an indicator that someone is not a bot makes sense, some of our players may not be super active forum posters. I for one am on TMC a lot and have been for years, and I'm not sure I've ever used the forums.

Thanks!

- S
Cyberpunk Roleplaying: https://www.sindome.org Play in your browser: https://moo.sindome.org

Jeshin OR

  • TMC Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Discord - Jeshin#6713
    • View Profile
    • Optional Realities
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 3:52 PM »
When you reviewed the Armageddon votes to identify bots did you find bots voting for other games in addition to Armageddon and how long were they voting for? Like 1 month, 2 months, a year?

sevenecks

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
    • Sindome: Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 3:57 PM »
Also, is there some kind of message that is displayed to a post March 1st account when they try to vote that lets them know they need to post of the forums first or will it just ignore their vote?
Cyberpunk Roleplaying: https://www.sindome.org Play in your browser: https://moo.sindome.org

Hades_Kane

  • Community Manager
  • TMC Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
  • Owner / Administrator of End of Time
    • View Profile
    • End of Time
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 5:02 PM »
From a moderator standpoint, this will create a situation where a bunch of near meaningless seeming posts will be dealt with hopefully pretty rapidly.

We've already had one newly registered account post several times, back to back, with things that at a glance could seem on-topic but clearly bot generated based on the content.

With regards to the other questions, Icculus will have to answer those specifically.

With regards to where to post, forum introductions would be a good place to start.  Provided it didn't get out of hand, replying to a promotion thread for the MUD they'd otherwise be voting for wouldn't be a bad thing either.

Legitimate, new registrations to the forum are probably fairly low, so it is unlikely this will cause too much of a headache in general, especially considering it only affects newly created accounts.
-Diablos
End of Time, a 100% free Final Fantasy & Chrono Trigger based MUD with a large original world, unique combat & magic systems, and more!
eotmud.com : 4000 • http://www.eotmud.comhttp://www.facebook.com/eotmud
http://www.mudconnect.com/mud-bin/adv_search.cgi?Mode=MUD&mud=End+of+Time

Supermarket

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • no
    • View Profile
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 5:08 PM »
Hell, *I* just tried posting an introduction to let y'all know I'm a real person when I vote, and it was deleted too (probably because it was in joke form and someone mistook it for spam). I can see that being a big thing in the future.

Hades_Kane

  • Community Manager
  • TMC Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
  • Owner / Administrator of End of Time
    • View Profile
    • End of Time
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2018, 5:31 PM »
Hell, *I* just tried posting an introduction to let y'all know I'm a real person when I vote, and it was deleted too (probably because it was in joke form and someone mistook it for spam). I can see that being a big thing in the future.

I can see where it was deleted (another mod intercepted that) but I can't see the content.  Especially when there has been a high number of sign ups, we do tend to be extra vigilant anyhow and depending on the content of the post, it might have otherwise been mistaken for spam.

It may be good for us to ease up just a tiny bit if there aren't a rapid succession of posts... but this may take a little bit of adjustment all the way around.
-Diablos
End of Time, a 100% free Final Fantasy & Chrono Trigger based MUD with a large original world, unique combat & magic systems, and more!
eotmud.com : 4000 • http://www.eotmud.comhttp://www.facebook.com/eotmud
http://www.mudconnect.com/mud-bin/adv_search.cgi?Mode=MUD&mud=End+of+Time

Davarna

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2018, 5:38 PM »
I just want you to know, I am a real person, and I am not just trying to get my five posts in, even though this is my fifth post.  I was a LONG time lurker.  I spent about two days trying to answer one of your five questions.  The "What does MUSH stand for?"

I could not get the forum to accept any of my answers.  After a few days, the question switched to "What does MUD stand for?"

That one I got right.

Icculus

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2018, 5:40 PM »
When you reviewed the Armageddon votes to identify bots did you find bots voting for other games in addition to Armageddon and how long were they voting for? Like 1 month, 2 months, a year?

I only restricted my search to logs beginning in March because that's when the vote pumping bega. I believe that the vote reset was March 1st so any abnormal voting that took place before then would have already been wiped.

Icculus

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2018, 5:41 PM »
Also, is there some kind of message that is displayed to a post March 1st account when they try to vote that lets them know they need to post of the forums first or will it just ignore their vote?

Yes, a member who doesn't meet the minimum requirements is presented with a message explaining why.

sevenecks

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
    • Sindome: Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2018, 2:55 PM »
From a moderator standpoint, this will create a situation where a bunch of near meaningless seeming posts will be dealt with hopefully pretty rapidly.

We've already had one newly registered account post several times, back to back, with things that at a glance could seem on-topic but clearly bot generated based on the content.

With regards to the other questions, Icculus will have to answer those specifically.

With regards to where to post, forum introductions would be a good place to start.  Provided it didn't get out of hand, replying to a promotion thread for the MUD they'd otherwise be voting for wouldn't be a bad thing either.

Legitimate, new registrations to the forum are probably fairly low, so it is unlikely this will cause too much of a headache in general, especially considering it only affects newly created accounts.

We will instruct people who are new to voting/tmc to post in the introductions area, and then possibly in the promotions thread for our specific game. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

-- S
Cyberpunk Roleplaying: https://www.sindome.org Play in your browser: https://moo.sindome.org

Ateraan

  • TMC Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • New Worlds Ateraan
    • View Profile
    • New Worlds Ateraan
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 1:14 PM »
I think this is a great idea but can also be abused. I just don't want good members like Supermarket (loved that joke post) and Davarna or members like them to be deleted.

Also, I'm a real person too but haven't voted in a long time  :'(
New Worlds Ateraan
www.ateraan.com

Tijer

  • Community Manager
  • TMC Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 746
    • View Profile
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 3:18 PM »
I think this is a great idea but can also be abused. I just don't want good members like Supermarket (loved that joke post)

Supermarkets first post i believe was spam (i deleted it while connected on my phone which probably wasnt the best idea!)
--Tijer
War of Legend    • Mud • Waroflegend.net port 4200   • Web • http://www.waroflegend.net
Aadarian Realms • Mud • Aadaria.net port 1111/1114  • Web • http://www.aadaria.com

Ateraan

  • TMC Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • New Worlds Ateraan
    • View Profile
    • New Worlds Ateraan
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 8:49 PM »
I think this is a great idea but can also be abused. I just don't want good members like Supermarket (loved that joke post)

Supermarkets first post i believe was spam (i deleted it while connected on my phone which probably wasnt the best idea!)
Agreed. Patience young padawan. ;)
New Worlds Ateraan
www.ateraan.com

Tasarla

  • New to TMC
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: TMC - Changes to the Vote System
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 1:45 AM »
I'm a real person, just joined up though so working to get my five posts in before I can start actually voting on anything.  New to this side of things so learning curve in effect.